Cullman Tree Commission purchases 50 trees to honor former chairman Everett Wier

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Pictured are City of Cullman Tree Commission Chairman Michael Sullins with new commission member Rachel Dawsey (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The City of Cullman Tree Commission convened on Tuesday morning at City Hall for its bimonthly meeting. Joining commission members Michael Sullins, Barry Slatton, Rachel Dawsey and Amy Leonard was City Arborist, Charles Chandler and two members of the Alabama Forestry Commission, Mary Claire Smith and Katie Wiswall. Recorder Leanne West and community member Dot Hyde were also present.

The commission honored former chairman, Everett Wier, with the purchase of 50 trees through the Arbor Day Foundation. The trees, memorializing Wier, are planted and thriving in Umpqua National Forest in Oregon and Superior National Forest in Minnesota.

Rachel Dawsey, the commission’s newest member, was previously approved by the city council and introduced by Tree Commission Chairman Michael Sullins. Dawsey currently serves as the executive director of the North Alabama Agriplex Heritage Center and is a familiar face throughout the community, working and educating children and adults throughout Cullman County.

“I am honored and humbled to welcome Ms. Dawsey to the City of Cullman Tree Commission and appreciate her willingness to serve. Our commission fills an important need in our community, and I believe that Rachel’s vast knowledge and broad experience will be a great benefit to City of Cullman and its citizens. She is already a leader in agriculture in our community and I’m excited that she will be bringing that leadership to our commission. I look forward to working with Rachel and our commission team as we continue to look out for the best interests of Cullman’s urban forests,” stated Sullins.

Commission members opted to create a vice chairperson position “to share the leadership role for the Tree Commission, similar to a president pro temp of the Cullman City Council.  The vice chairperson will be willing to do more to share tasks, for example chairing a subcommittee, leading on strategy projects, filling in when the chairman is not available or a tree commission ordinance review,” Sullins shared.

Upon approval of the new position, members nominated and approved Amy Leonard to the vice chairperson position.

City Arborist Charles Chandler provided an itinerary for the coming week which included the removal of trees on Convent Road along properties owned by the Benedictine Sisters of Cullman and the City of Cullman. Approximately nine dead or dying trees, which pose a potential hazard to motorists and pedestrians, are scheduled to come down.

The Alabama Forestry Commission provided pertinent information on urban forestry and reiterated their willingness to actively participate and mentor the commission on available educational resources. While Cullman is in its 34th year as a Tree City USA, the commission learned of additional opportunities including Tree Campus USA, Tree Line USA and the Growth Award.

The City of Cullman Tree Commission meets bimonthly on the third Tuesday of even months at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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